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NEW YORK — Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen want to make one thing clear — they are fully committed to their brands.
The twins are in town this week showing off their newest contemporary line, Elizabeth and James, to retailers and press. While here, they arranged an event on Tuesday evening at the Moti Hasson Gallery here with their exclusive specialty retailer on the East Coast, Intermix.
“We just started selling the brand with the fall collection and it’s doing very well,” said Khajak Keledjian, chief executive officer of Intermix, which has 20 stores nationwide. “The line shows off a lot of creativity and is right in line with what our customers are looking for.”
According to Sari Sloane, vice president of fashion merchandising at Intermix, the store has done especially well with a fake leopard coat for $795, a sequin dress for $450 and a men’s wear-inspired blazer for $375. However, she noted, just about every item they ordered is selling.
Neiman Marcus carries the line exclusively on the West Coast.
The Olsens, meanwhile, were slaving over the styling for the event, which showcased the collection on mannequins and in gallery form, with some pieces pinned to the walls. The spring collection, which will be the second season for Elizabeth and James, includes silk chiffon printed tops, high-waisted pants, slim skirts, leather jackets, evening gowns and silk party dresses.
“This whole thing was three months in the making,” Mary-Kate said of the event. “We worked on the look book, and we were just here earlier today for about three hours styling the mannequins.”
“It wasn’t easy, dressing and undressing and dressing. But it’s all been great since we have the perfect relationship with our partner,” said Ashley, referring to Jane Siskin, a partner in L’Koral Industries, a Vernon, Calif.-based firm, which also produces the La Rok contemporary line.
Ashley said the twins now are working on the fall 2008 collection. They said they would like to take it slowly but eventually see the Elizabeth and James brand as a full lifestyle collection, offering everything from sportswear to accessories.
“Everything my sister and I do is with integrity,” Mary-Kate said. “We are both 150 percent involved in growing this line. This is what we do, we are in the fashion business.”